Love letters, or sweet dreams?

  • 6 Replies
  • 6185 Views
Love letters, or sweet dreams?
« on: January 17, 2013, 08:26:26 PM »
I'm gonna run another AW at a con. Last time, we just winged it - with my humble suggestion of a post-apocalypse Seattle as the setting (an homage to the first game I MC'd).

I've heard of hits and misses from pre-game preparation, yet I want to try it for myself. My idea for a variation on love letters or starting Hx was to ask the PC's what they've been dreaming about, and assign Hx on that in lieu of the normal questions.

For example,

"Name one PC you've been dreaming of every night."
"There's a PC who keeps dying in your dreams, and you're never able to save them. Who are they?"
"You dreamed that one PC was trying to tell you something important, but you woke up before they could say what."

If anyone is interested, I thought of making a "sweet dreams" list for most PC roles (Brainer, Savvyhead, Gunlugger/violent bastard). I'm open to feedback, suggestions, apocalyptica-filled dreams you've had lately, etc.

Re: Love letters, or sweet dreams?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 12:17:13 PM »
Damn. This is a clever way to get the players invested in game, as well as into the Psychic Maelstrom component of the game. Good show!

Love letters threw me off initially: I found they are best used as lead-ins for a pre-gen, one-shot game (like at a convention), or to hand-wave time passing in the game while still giving the players impact on the world/plot/etc. Which is not to say you can't do it whenever you opt to.
"Above the tortured heavens
So full of silent waiting
Howl screams of birth and triumph
Unlock the faceless hating"

- Darkest Of The Hillside Thickets, "Ogdru Jahad"

Re: Love letters, or sweet dreams?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 04:43:17 AM »
Brilliant idea! I'm about to run a one-shot myself and I think I might use this.
Looking for a playbook? Check out my page!
http://nerdwerds.blogspot.com/2012/12/all-of-playbooks.html

Re: Love letters, or sweet dreams?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 12:13:32 AM »
devonapple: Thanks for the kind words. I've always liked how the setting in AW can develop in the pre-game out of nothing before your eyes, but for a one-shot I do think it can help to have more background and pull players in.

nerdwerds: Please post your Hx/dream questions, I'd be glad to see them!

Here's what I have so far, based heavily on the default Hx questions-

Quote
*Angel

On your turn, 1, 2 or all 3

-One character, you keep getting pulled into their dreams. Or they are pulled into yours. Hard to tell, it's pretty freaky. Give them +2
-One character, you dreamed that they did something you never thought they'd do. Then they did it in the real world. Give them +2
-You once had a damn long dream, watching one of them slowly doom themselves. You see scenes from it whenever you look at them. Give them -1.

Anybody else you've told about your dreams, give +1. They're comforted to know that even you're going through this crap.

On everyone else's turn, take the number they tell you, give it -1. You're trying to keep your distance and maintain a level head, you know?


*Strange Person (Brainer, etc)

You haven't actually been having dreams. At least, not your own. You keep getting thrust into the others' dreams. Sometimes, it's even like you're living through them.

On your turn,

Tell everyone -1. You're odd enough without being a dream-spy.

On the others' turns, choose 1, 2 or all 3

-One character actually knows you were in their dream with them. Ignore what they give you, write down +3 instead.
-While dreaming, you lived another characters most vulnerable moment. Ignore what they give you, write down +3 instead.
-One character told you about some really, horribly awful nightmares. They didn't know those were your actual, real-life memories. Ignore what they give you, write down +3 instead.

Everyone else, add +1 to what they tell you. 'Cuz you've got a head start on this psychic stuff.


*Violent Bastard

On your turn, 1, 2 or all 3

-You've been dreaming of one character, every damn night. Give them +2
-One character keeps dying in your dreams, and you can't save them, no matter how much you want to or how many times it happens. Give them -2
-One character shared with you a beautiful dream, full of hope and wishes and crap like that. Give them +2

Everyone else, you haven't dreamed of at all (or at least, nothing worth speaking of). Tell them +0

On the others' turns,

-Pick the one who's told you about their scariest-ass nightmares. Add +1 to the number they tell you. Everyone else, just write down whatever they tell you.


*Person-in-Charge (Hardholder, etc)

You haven't been having dreams. Like, at all. You close your eyes and wake up remembering nothing. Maybe best not to blab that to everyone, eh?

On your turn, 1, 2 or all 3

-Someone's been really busting their ass, going above-and-beyond, helping you keep shit together during all this bizarre nightmare crap. Give them +2
-Someone told you about their dream, and it made you cry like a heartbroken virgin. Give them +2
-You know someone's hiding a nasty secret from you, dream or otherwise, you just don't know what yet. Give them -2. Later, if they reveal it to you, they go to +3 immediately.

Everyone else, give +0.

On the others' turns, tell one person you ain't had these freaky dreams, and whatever number they tell you give it +1 (heck, you can tell more, but pick just one character to give +1 to their number). Everyone else, just write what they tell you.


*Operator

On your turn, 1 or both

-One of them was keeping something from you, and you had to learn about it from your damn nightmares? Give them -1.
-One of them was just about to tell you something important, but then you woke up. Give them +2.

On the others' turns, give +1 to what they tell you and write it down. People tend to trust you.


*Skinner

On your turn, 1, 2 or all 3

-One of them told you about a dream so sensual and luxurious, it made you burn with jealousy. Give them +2
-One of them told you about a sexy dream, and it made you happy. Give them +1
-One of them told you about a bizarre dream involving you. Give that creeper -1

Everyone else gets +0

On the others' turns, take the number they tell you and give it +1 if you think they have interesting dreams, or -1 if you think their dreams are boring or disturbing.

Orphaned dream I don't know what to do with: You keep having a dream where you and everyone else leave. You all pack up everything you can carry on your backs and scram far, far away. Give +/-(?) to the person who's always conspicuously absent from that dream.

Re: Love letters, or sweet dreams?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 11:28:35 PM »
Wow, these are beautiful!

Quote
-One character told you about some really, horribly awful nightmares. They didn't know those were your actual, real-life memories. Ignore what they give you, write down +3 instead.
[...]
-One of them was keeping something from you, and you had to learn about it from your damn nightmares? Give them -1.

Some of the others, I'm less sold by. But the concept is great, I like it very much.

It makes me think that "opening your brain" is a bit like slipping into the dream-world, or having a waking dream.

Re: Love letters, or sweet dreams?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 01:20:27 AM »
Wow, these are beautiful!

...

Some of the others, I'm less sold by. But the concept is great, I like it very much.

It makes me think that "opening your brain" is a bit like slipping into the dream-world, or having a waking dream.

Thanks! I do admit I'm not super enthused with these as they stand... I was surprised how hard it is to think of psychic maelstrom-mutated dreams. Maybe more will be focused on revealing hidden things, like those two you noted.

Re: Love letters, or sweet dreams?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 12:58:56 AM »
nerdwerds: Please post your Hx/dream questions, I'd be glad to see them!

I ended up just writing generic love letters for the playbooks that the players chose.
Looking for a playbook? Check out my page!
http://nerdwerds.blogspot.com/2012/12/all-of-playbooks.html